A skin patch that delivers small amounts of peanut protein may help treat children and young adults with peanut allergy, researchers report.
The new approach “looks promising and has potential,” said study author Dr. Marshall Plaut. He is chief of the food allergy, atopic dermatitis and allergic mechanisms section at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Plaut’s research team worked with 74 children and young adults, aged 4 to 25, who are allergic to peanuts. The volunteers were randomly assigned to wear either a high-dose patch (250 micrograms), a low-dose patch (100 micrograms) or a placebo patch.
Participants put a new patch on daily, sticking it to their arm or between their shoulder blades.
At the one-year mark, the researchers evaluated whether the participants were able to consume at least 10 times more peanut protein than they could at the study start, under supervision during the allergy challenge.